Duck duck questions on hatching

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Cowgirlmelo, Apr 3, 2016.

  1. Cowgirlmelo

    Cowgirlmelo Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2016
    Moccasin , Montana
    So i had to leave my ducks with a friend over the winter and she has a drake in her pen. i got back and picked my girls up on Wednesday the 30th and they have been laying every day since and for a few months before i picked them up. I am curious if they had been fertile before i picked them up could i incubate the eggs i have collected? its been 5 days without the drake. i just collected 4 eggs this morning and we are going to town so i could pick up an incubator if any one thinks its worth the trouble, id love to have ducklings :) also i have a few in the fridge... could i also still incubate those? Thank you guys!
     
  2. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ducks can lay fertilized eggs up to about 3 weeks after being with a male, so yes you have a good chance at having some fertile eggs to hatch out. :)

    It's not ideal for hatching eggs to be kept in the fridge, but people have had success hatching eggs that were stored in the fridge for short periods of time. So I say, go for it! Collect the number of eggs you want to try and hatch out and put them in the incubator at the same time. Make sure the ones that were in the fridge have time to warm up to room temperature before placing in the incubator. So, take them out now and don't put any of the others you want to incubate in the fridge, that can lower your hatch rate. Store them in a cool room, large end up. Turning the eggs twice a day while they are being stored is also good.

    You can collect eggs for up to 7 days before incubating without having a decrease in hatch rate. I would not incubate eggs more than 10 days old, though. Just don't make the mistake of sticking new eggs into the incubator every day because then you'll end up with a staggered hatch with them all hatching on different days and needing different incubator conditions, and being different ages and having to be separated and...it's just a mess. Don't do it! ;) Gather how many you want and put them all in at the same time.

    Hope that answered all of your questions! Good luck! :)
     
  3. Cowgirlmelo

    Cowgirlmelo Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2016
    Moccasin , Montana
    Thank you so much!! Im so excited, you have been wonderful! thank you :)
     
  4. Gge23

    Gge23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2016
    West Yorkshire
    I have a quick question to...
    I have 4 Aylesburys, 2 female and 2 male, and I am wanting to breed them but have very little knowledge on the subject :S so I was wondering how soon after mating should will the girls begin laying fertilised eggs, and how many eggs a day can I expect them to lay?
    I can see that @Cowgirlmelo collected 4 eggs in one day....but how many girls do you have can I ask?
    If anyone has any advise or tips for me I would be very appreciative! Thank you :)
     
  5. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there, welcome to BYC! :)

    Your females should lay one egg a day each, so you should expect two eggs a day once they start laying. How old are your girls? Have they laid before? Sometimes when they first start out laying they may skip a day here and there while their reproductive tract gets all the bugs worked out.

    After mating with a male, you should get fertile eggs after two days. This is because eggs are kind of on a conveyor belt system inside the duck and are all lined up at various stages of formation and development. So, the egg laid the day after mating will already be mostly formed inside the hen and cannot be fertilized at the time of mating. But the egg laid the day after that should be fertile if your drake has done his job right. ;)

    Hope that helped!
     
  6. Gge23

    Gge23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2016
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    Hi @Orca5094,
    Thanks for your help! I've been searching everywhere and no website seems to give me a straight answer, so I knew someone here would know ^_^
    How will I know if they're fertilised? I'm at work all day and so can't keep an eye and see what they're up to...
    I only got my girls about 6 weeks ago and was told they were last years hatchlings...so not too sure how old that would make them :S my boys are 9 months old and have started showing signs of wanting to mate with the girls, so I guess that's a good thing!
    The girls are laying and have been doing so for about 3 weeks now...one of them is a bit on and off but most days now we get one from each of them.
    This is a great help thanks :)
     
  7. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You'll want to crack open a couple eggs to check for fertility. I'd do both eggs from one day so you get an egg from each girl. Crack them open in a bowl and there will be a white spot on the yolk. If it's just a tiny white spot, they are not fertile. If they are tiny white bullseyes, they are fertile.

    Here's a pic of one of my fertile duck eggs last year:
    [​IMG]
    See that nice, pretty bullseye spot on the yolk? That shows this egg is fertile, so the others that this duck is laying should also be fertile. You can't know for sure if all the eggs you stick into the incubator are fertile until they start showing signs of development about 5 days or so into incubation. BUT, if you've checked for fertility and then collect eggs to incubate after that, there's a pretty good chance the others will all be fertile as well.

    Here, I found a pic of an infertile egg for you as well for comparison:
    [​IMG]
    See how that one just has a tiny white dot, compared to the bullseye?

    Feel free to post pics if you are unsure so we can help you determine fertility. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  8. Bryam

    Bryam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very good pictures!! Wow, what a wealth of information! ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
  9. Gge23

    Gge23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2016
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    That's amazing!!
    Honestly I would never have even thought of doing that...thank you! I'm guessing you've been doing this for a while then?
    Thank you so much for your help!
     
  10. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aww, thanks! I stole the infertile pic from Google, though. It's a chicken egg (which is why the yolk is paler than my duck egg), but checking for fertility works the same with both. ;)

    I used to be an Avian Keeper at a zoo, in charge of all the waterfowl care, egg incubation, hand-rearing, etc. Now I just have my own little flock at home for fun. ^-^

    You're welcome! Glad I could help.
     

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